Dakshinayana is the time when the Sun begins to trace a southward movement in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Dakshinayana is significant in the life of anyone who is doing yoga. In this phase, your relationship with the planet is very different than what it is in the northern run. Particularly for those of us who are living in the northern hemisphere, it is very significant that the Sun is now moving South and the planet is moving in an anti-clockwise direction. These together produce a certain impact on human physiology. All the practices we do have been structured keeping this aspect in mind.
It was during this time of the year that Adi Yogi turned south and became a Dakshinamurti — he began to transmit the fundamentals of the yogic science to his first seven disciples, who are now celebrated as the saptarishis. It was not on a whim that he decided to turn south. He turned south because the Sun turned towards south. The southern run of the Sun became significant because this was the first phase of the teaching. This became the sadhana pada where he taught the saptarishis what they should do. The northern run or Uttarayana is referred to as the samadhi pada or kaivalya pada. It is a time for realisation.
The sadhana pada is always more important because in the process of making anything happen, the most important thing is to do what is in our hands. What is not in our hands, we only have to wait. Sadhana is something which is in our hands — we can do something about it. It may be a lesser dimension than the other but it doesn’t matter, it is in our hands. It becomes important because we can make it happen. Watering and putting manure to a plant is important. Flowers will come as a consequence of that. It is not our doing. This is just like that. These six months are the sadhana pada and this time is important because now you can do the right things. If you do the right things, when the time to harvest comes, the right kind of harvest will come.